The Math Prodigy Whose Hack Upended DeFi Won’t Give Back His Millions

May 19, 2022

First Read

Hits & Takes
John Lothian & JLN Staff

Alexandria Perry has given her notice and tomorrow is her last day at JLN. She has accepted a new position and starts Monday. We thank her for her contributions to JLN, especially her work on The Spread. Alex was working for us part-time while also free-lancing at another publication. The position she is accepting is a full-time position.

With Alex leaving, this leaves a void for her Optionstopia, the new options-oriented segment in The Spread, so we are rethinking The Spread and what we do and how we do it. Ideas are welcome to help us create a product aimed at the younger audience of options-centric traders.

You might think that FTX’s Sam Bankman-Fried is the star of the movie “Everything Everywhere All At Once” as today headlines disclose that FTX is expanding into US equities trading as the crypto trading platform is committed to trading all asset classes, the FT reported. Of course, FTX previously acquired LedgerX, a CFTC regulated futures exchange. No wonder journalists keep going to the Bahamas to interview Bankman-Fried; he keeps shaking things up.

Elon Musk did not take too kindly to S&P dropping Tesla from the index that tracks environmental, social or governance issues. He called ESG “An Outrageous Scam,” according to a Wall Street Journal story. Those are just the kinds of tweets he is going to need to produce to create traffic on Twitter if he is going to own the social media site.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler is singing the never-changing tune of “We need more money to regulate these markets,” according to a Yahoo Finance story that says Gensler called on Congress to “provide more funding for oversight.”

Have you registered yet for the FIA Forum: Commodities 2022 in Houston, Texas on June 21 and 22 at The Houstonian? If physical commodity issues impact you as a derivatives participant or service provider in energy, agriculture and metals, then you are going to want to click HERE for more details and to register and attend.

Tina Stavrou has joined OCC as an associate general counsel. She was previously a vice president and head of compliance at PNC Bank in Chicago.

LabCFTC is five years old.

You might be ready to return to the office, but your dog is not ready for you to return. And more people have dogs now than before the pandemic. The New York Times has the story, “Your Dog Is Not Ready for You to Return to the Office; Pets (and their owners) prepare for the inevitable.”

Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL


SGX Group’s Michael Syn on remote work, internationalization, and maintaining SGX market fluency

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) is the largest US dollar clearinghouse in Asia, and it is the largest RMB clearing house in the world outside of China. The work of SGX in 2022 is to maintain its position of fluency in dollars, euros, sterling and RMB, making sure access is open to participants from around the world, said Michael Syn, senior managing director and head of equities at SGX.

Watch the video »


Pat Kenny, “the most interesting man,” in interesting times

John Lothian News caught up with Pat Kenny, “the most interesting man in the world” according to John Lothian, at the FIA Boca 2022 conference in Boca Raton in March. Kenny is SVP of client relations for CQG, and he talked about CQG One, the company’s newest charting and analytics platform geared toward professional traders, and the effects of the covid pandemic on CQG’s business and on the industry.

Watch the video »


FIA’s International Derivatives Expo is returning to The Brewery in London this coming 6-8 June. Standing still is not an option in today’s evolving cleared derivatives environment. Without adapting to new products, processes, technologies and regulations, your business won’t meet the needs of tomorrow’s industry. We’re bringing together industry leaders, vendors and policymakers to discuss what’s “now” in derivatives, and what lies ahead. Sign up here.


Gabe Plotkin’s Melvin Capital to wind down funds
Hedge fund founder acknowledges need to ‘step away from managing external capital’ after rocky stretch
Ortenca Aliaj and James Fontanella-Khan – FT
Melvin Capital Management, the hedge fund that lost billions of dollars during last year’s meme-stock rally, has told clients it is winding down its funds. Gabe Plotkin, the New York-based firm’s founder, told clients he planned to return cash to investors after a difficult stretch. “The past 17 months has been an incredibly trying time for the firm and you, our investors,” he said in a letter to investors seen by the Financial Times. Melvin was hit hard in January 2021 after its short position on GameStop — a bet that its share price would drop — failed miserably as an army of investors on Reddit started buying shares in the video game retailer, pushing its value up as much as 2,400 per cent.

******Game over, GameStop.~JJL


Musk Loses $12 Billion in a Day as He Tweets Politics, Slams ESG
Brian Chappatta – Bloomberg
Elon Musk spent Wednesday on Twitter Inc., announcing his political switch from Democrat to Republican, trashing ESG and replying to several users of the social-media website he’s agreed to buy. Tesla Inc., meanwhile, sank to the lowest level this year, wiping $12.3 billion from his wealth, while Twitter further extended its slide. All told, Musk has lost $49 billion since launching his bid for Twitter last month, partly as the wider market tumbled and as some investors in Tesla grew concerned over how he’d fund his offer for the social-media giant.

****** Do you know how many tweets you have to generate for $12 billion?~JJL


Tesla Loses Spot on S&P ESG Index Due to Concerns Over Crashes, Working Conditions
Elaine Chen and Esha Dey – Bloomberg
The world’s most famous electric-vehicle maker has lost its spot on the ESG version of the S&P 500 Index. S&P Dow Jones Indices says that Tesla Inc.’s score on environmental, social and governance standards has remained “fairly stable” over the past year, but that it has slipped down the ranks against improving global peers.

****** To put this in Seinfeldian terms: Tesla is not S&P ESG Index worthy.~JJL


‘My tattoo will be a constant reminder that venture investing requires humility,’ says Michael Novogratz, with a ‘Luna’ tattoo, after the crypto’s collapse
Frances Yue – MarketWatch
For the past few days, many crypto investors have been asking the whereabouts of Michael Novogratz. Once a backer of cryptocurrency Luna, the billionaire investor got a wolf-themed tattoo to demonstrate his support. However, Luna collapsed last week, plunging to close to zero, from over $80 in early May. Its sister coin USDTerra or UST, a stablecoin that was structured to always trade one-to-one against the U.S. dollar, fell below $1 and was trading as low as 5 cents at one point.

****** That is one priceless NFT he has on his shoulder.~JJL


Wednesday’s Top Three
Our most clicked story on Wednesday was The New York Times’ How a Trash-Talking Crypto Founder Caused a $40 Billion Crash, about Do Kwon and the fall of Luna. Second was LSEG to buy market data solutions provider MayStreet, from Asset Servicing Times. And third was a three-way tie between Bloomberg’s Jamie Dimon Dealt Rare Blow as JPMorgan Holders Reject Pay Plan, Allianz Cooperator Used Bathroom Break to Run Out on the SEC (also from Bloomberg), and Trading Technologies Ceo Keith Todd Had Plenty To Announce at FIA Boca 2022 and Expects Even More Later This Year, from John Lothian News.


MarketsWiki Stats
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MarketsWiki Statistics


Lead Stories

The Math Prodigy Whose Hack Upended DeFi Won’t Give Back His Millions; An 18-year-old graduate student exploited a weakness in Indexed Finance’s code and opened a legal conundrum that’s still rocking the blockchain community. Then he disappeared.
Christopher Beam – Bloomberg
On Oct. 14, in a house near Leeds, England, Laurence Day was sitting down to a dinner of fish and chips on his couch when his phone buzzed. The text was from a colleague who worked with him on Indexed Finance, a cryptocurrency platform that creates tokens representing baskets of other tokens—like an index fund, but on the blockchain. The colleague had sent over a screenshot showing a recent trade, followed by a question mark. “If you didn’t know what you were looking at, you might say, ‘Nice-looking trade,’ ” Day says. But he knew enough to be alarmed: A user had bought up certain tokens at drastically deflated values, which shouldn’t have been possible. Something was very wrong.

Cryptocurrency platform FTX expands into US equities market; Group led by Sam Bankman-Fried discloses ambition to become the ‘everything exchange’
Gary Silverman – FT
Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange signalled its determination to expand “across all asset classes” as it launched a US equities trading service that will accept payments in some stablecoins as well as US dollars. The US arm of FTX set the stage for the move by quietly buying a regulated broker-dealer last year. Starting Thursday, it said “select US customers” chosen from a wait-list set up in February will be able to use FTX US to buy stocks and exchange traded funds, as well as digital assets. The expansion underscores the scope of Bankman-Fried’s ambitions and his willingness to enter financial services that are more tightly regulated than the crypto markets where the 30-year-old FTX founder has made billions.

Age of Scarcity Begins With $1.6 Trillion Hit to World Economy
Maeva Cousin, Tom Orlik and Bryce Baschuk – Bloomberg
The ties that bind the global economy together, and delivered goods in abundance across the world, are unravelling at a frightening pace. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s Covid Zero lockdowns are disrupting supply chains, hammering growth and pushing inflation to forty-year highs. They’re the chief reasons why Bloomberg Economics has lopped $1.6 trillion off its forecast for global GDP in 2022.

US Pries Into Over 100 Trader and Banker Phones in Texting Probe
Matt Robinson, Hannah Levitt and Jenny Surane – Bloomberg
The US is forcing Wall Street banks to embark on a systematic search through more than 100 personal mobile phones carried by top traders and dealmakers in the largest-ever probe into clandestine messaging on platforms such as WhatsApp. The Securities and Exchange Commission has been sending firms lists of key positions — in some cases pointing to around 30 people including heads of certain investment banking teams or trading desks — that are subject to the review, according to people with direct knowledge of the requests. Personnel in those roles are being ordered to hand over phones so devices can be examined by lawyers.

Melvin Capital to Close Funds, Return Cash to Investors; Firm lost big on meme-stock surge in early days of Covid-19 pandemic
Juliet Chung – WSJ
Melvin Capital plans to close its funds and return the cash to its investors, capping a stunning reversal for a firm that lost big on the surge in meme stocks last year and on wagers on growth stocks this year. In a letter to investors that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Gabe Plotkin, Melvin’s founder, wrote that he reached his decision after conferring with Melvin’s board of directors during a monthslong process of reassessing his business.

****** The Bloomberg version of the story is titled “Plotkin Shuts Melvin Hedge Fund Left Reeling by Redditor Attack” and the Reuters version is titled “Melvin Capital to shut after heavy losses on meme stocks, market slump.”

FTX US Offers Trading of Old-School Stocks as Crypto Backstop; sers can opt to buy stocks with stablecoins such as USD Coin; Exchange pushes to diversify, seeks to lure retail investors
Katherine Doherty and Yueqi Yang – Bloomberg
FTX US, the cryptocurrency exchange co-founded by Sam Bankman-Fried, is expanding into equities trading as it seeks a cushion for when digital assets retreat while capturing a broader group of retail investors.

Commodities Startup Is Betting on Old-School Trading Going Digital
Archie Hunter – Bloomberg
The old-school world of commodities trading is staring at a digital future, according to team of industry veterans and heavyweights looking to bring physical crop deals online. When it comes to buying and selling materials crucial to building the world and feeding people, phone-based trades and the use of paper documents for cargo ownership are commonplace, while personal relationships are invaluable. But now startups like Vosbor Exchange BV, which includes previous heads of Bunge Ltd. and Glencore Plc’s agriculture unit, are trying to change that.

SEC is reportedly checking banker cell phones in a Wall Street messaging probe
Steve Gelsi – MarketWatch
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a search through 100-plus personal mobile phones of top Wall Street dealmakers as it widens its probe into secret messaging through platforms such as WhatsApp, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday. The SEC is targeting up to 30 top bankers and traders at each major bank it contacts to provide personal mobile devices to be examined by lawyers, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with direct knowledge of the requests.

So long, 60/40, and thanks for all the returns; We’re in uncharted territory
George Steer and Robin Wigglesworth – FT
An interesting little factoid out from Man Group earlier this week on the recent bout of market mayhem (our emphasis below): Since 1960, there have been 44 individual instances of the S&P 500 index enduring five or more consecutive down weeks. Since 1973, US Treasuries have had 31 such losing streaks lasting at least five weeks.

There is a moral case against crypto; The environmental, financial and psychological harm caused by ‘mining’ digital currencies is enormous
Jemima Kelly – FT
Three weeks ago, I used this column to explain why I was still not taking crypto seriously, despite the number of allegedly very serious and grown-up investors getting involved in it. Since then, the market has crashed by about 30 per cent, with many so-called “stablecoins” proving themselves to be anything but. Bitcoin’s value has now collapsed by more than half since its highs last year; Dogecoin’s by almost 90 per cent. A reader wrote to me over the weekend to suggest a column idea: “This week, I was thinking you should write a massive ‘I told you so’ article :)”.

The SEC has taken the first step toward undermining 401(k) plan fiduciaries
Alicia H. Munnell – MarketWatch
The SEC has taken the first step toward undermining 401(k) plan fiduciaries
The Securities and Exchange Commission has decided to allow Inc.’s (AMZN) shareholders to vote on a proposal requiring the company to prepare a report assessing the extent to which the company’s current retirement plan investment options align with its corporate climate action goals. This proposal is being pushed by a nonprofit shareholder advocacy group As You Sow. The group wants to replace low-fee index funds with ESG funds, which tend to be actively managed and involve significantly higher fees.

Elon Musk Calls ESG ‘An Outrageous Scam’ After Tesla Was Removed From Index; Tesla CEO says S&P has ‘lost their integrity’; S&P cites Tesla’s carbon strategy, working conditions and claims of racial discrimination for removal
Allison Prang – WSJ
Tesla Inc. TSLA -6.80% was recently dropped from an equity index that tracks environmental, social and governance principles. Elon Musk isn’t pleased. In a slew of tweets, Mr. Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, called ESG “an outrageous scam,” lamented that Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -1.59% remained in the index and claimed the company behind the move has “lost their integrity.”

CFTC Signals Intent to Increase Enforcement of Crypto-Related Cases; Almost half of crypto-related enforcement actions by the derivatives-market regulator were filed in the last fiscal year, CFTC chairman said
Mengqi Sun – WSJ
The number of cases of alleged digital asset fraud and manipulation continues to accelerate, the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said. “Headlines about the loss of tens of millions of dollars in digital assets due to protocol exploits, phishing attacks, preying on vulnerable people and other fraudulent and manipulative schemes have become far too common,” CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam said Wednesday in a video message delivered at a crypto industry conference in New York.

More Crypto Market Turmoil Is Predicted by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler; Agency has said it plans to add 20 investigators and litigators to its unit dedicated to cryptocurrency and cybersecurity enforcement
Paul Kiernan – WSJ
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said Wednesday he worries that more investors will be harmed in cryptocurrency markets, after this month’s implosion of the stablecoin known as TerraUSD. “I think a lot of these tokens will fail,” Mr. Gensler told reporters after a House Appropriations Committee panel hearing Wednesday. “I fear that in crypto…there’s going to be a lot of people hurt, and that will undermine some of the confidence in markets and trust in markets writ large.”

TerraUSD Crash Could Speed Up Crypto Regulation, Binance.US CEO Says; U.S. could benefit from such regulation by encouraging crypto investors to use dollar-based stablecoins, says Brian Shroder
Alexander Osipovich – WSJ
The head of crypto exchange Binance.US said last week’s crash of the cryptocurrency TerraUSD could accelerate the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate stablecoins, or digital coins whose value is tied to traditional currencies like the dollar. “I would suspect that they would actually—especially now—move forward with stablecoin regulation,” Binance.US President and Chief Executive Brian Shroder said Wednesday at The Wall Street Journal Future of Everything Festival. The U.S. could benefit from such regulation by encouraging crypto investors to use U.S.-regulated, dollar-based stablecoins instead of offshore variants, Mr. Shroder added.

Russian Billions Hidden in US Spur Backlash to Financial Secrecy; New York bill would require ownership disclosure of LLCs; US was ranked as top enabler of anonymous wealth this week
Blake Schmidt – Bloomberg
The US is by at least one measure the biggest enabler of financial secrecy in the world. Now a movement is forming — backed by Republicans and Democrats — to peel back the curtain on one favored structure for shielding ownership. Officials from New York to Alaska are seeking a glimpse into anonymous limited liability companies doing business in their states — in some cases, because Russian billionaires were found to be hiding behind the corporate structure. The moves would build upon a law passed at the federal level before the war in Ukraine that required LLCs to disclose their owners to the Treasury Department.

Why We Should All Be Talking About the Luna Losers in Terra’s Implosion
Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg
The collapse of the Terra stablecoin and its token Luna is a massive deal for the crypto world. Not only was Luna a top 10 cryptocurrency by market value, but the UST stablecoin was also pitched as an important experiment in the world of digital money. But it’s not the first time a massive coin has come crashing down to earth. The history of cryptocurrencies is littered with examples of ‘important’ coins that have ridden off into the sunset of irrelevance after a brief moment in the spotlight. And while much is made of people who’ve netted millions from Bitcoin, Dogecoin and even $ASS coin, rarely do we hear much from the losers, or the ones who didn’t get to buy those Lambos.

Carvana Pits Tiger Cubs Against Jim Chanos After 90% Plunge
Craig Trudell – Bloomberg
An up-and-comer trying to become the Amazon of auto retailing is learning the hard way that, for all their digital shortcomings, American car dealers are formidable foes. Carvana pitched itself as a leading e-commerce platform for used cars when it went public five years ago. Like Amazon, Netflix, Zoom and Peloton, its stock made for a popular pick during the pandemic. What better time to bet on a highly online business competing with brick-and-mortar stores that were either closed completely or unable to operate normally?

Archegos’ Bill Hwang asks for Morgan Stanley probe after costly short squeeze – Bloomberg News
Sohini Podder and Niket Nishant – Reuters
Archegos Capital Management founder Bill Hwang has asked for a probe into Morgan Stanley to review if someone at the bank tipped off outsiders of the firm’s plan to buy Futu Holdings Ltd stock in bulk, according to a Bloomberg News report on Tuesday. Archegos had alerted U.S. authorities of a short squeeze on Futu, which took almost $4 billion out of Hwang’s portfolio, after regulators launched a probe into block-trading at Morgan Stanley earlier this year, Bloomberg reported, citing one person familiar with the matter.

Investor who lost $2.3 million terrifies crypto founder’s home in alleged trespassing; A man who claims to have lost up to 3 billion won (approximately $2.37 million) following the collapse of the cryptocurrency Luna has been questioned by South Korean police after allegedly trespassing into the apartment building of the cryptocurrency’s founder last week.
Carl Samson – Next Shark
Do Kwon, who is currently the chief executive officer of Singapore-based Terraform Labs, has reportedly been in touch with authorities after the alleged break-in. The suspect, whose identity has yet to be publicly revealed, was accused of entering Kwon’s apartment building in eastern Seoul at around 6:20 p.m. on Thursday. He then rang Kwon’s doorbell, which his wife answered. The man asked if her husband was home before running off, according to reports.

On Dublin Backstreet, Hub of Russian Finance Quietly Falls Apart; Corporate-service firms helped Russian companies borrow $145b; Little-known firm in Dublin among the most active players
Tasos Vossos, Donal Griffin, and Rachel McGovern – Bloomberg
On a Dublin backstreet, behind a Georgian townhouse where the Irish Red Cross is raising funds to support Ukraine, a once-thriving hub of Russian finance is falling apart. Here, a little-known firm quietly helped to keep Russia’s global money engine ticking over in recent years. Cafico International set up shell companies for some of the country’s biggest businesses, providing directors and accounts, helping them to sell bonds and raise billions of dollars.

Block trading in Europe continues to spike as volatility sees risk commitment tail off; A drop off in bank’s risk pricing and appetite to show balance has led to block trading accounting for a quarter of the pan-European trading volumes in the second quarter.
Annabel Smith – The Trade
Pan-European block trading volumes have continued to rise throughout the first half of this year on the back of ongoing market volatility. Volatility caused by the Ukrainian conflict and the pandemic have affected institutions appetite for risk and for showing balance and this has seen a spike in block trading as traders look to move out of positions quicker through more immediate execution.

Trading Venue Perimeter: US vs EU differences but equally unpopular; Kelvin To, founder and president of Data Boiler Technologies, discusses the differences between US and EU trading venue perimeters.
The Trade
The SEC’s proposed amendments concerning Investor Protections in Communication Protocol Systems (CPSs) and Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs) in the US versus the ESMA’s opinion on the trading venue perimeter in Europe are quite different. The Rules, despite the policy objectives and their unpopularity, are about the same. This article aims to decipher the regime differences, as well as explain why some of the changes are between a rock and a hard place.

ICE amends divestment plans of Euroclear stake; Change of direction sees ICE offload its Euroclear stake to two government-owned investment firms for the same price agreed with Silver Lake last year.
Chris Lemmon – The Trade
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has altered its plans on the sale of its 9.85% stake in Euroclear, following the emergence of new buyers during the approvals process. In October last year, ICE announced that it would be selling its full stake to global technology investment firm Silver Lake for a sum of EUR709 million. However, in a statement, ICE said that “an alternative group of buyers of ICE’s shares came forward” during the approvals process of that sale.

Ukraine Invasion

Medvedev says Russia will not allow World War III
Kateryna Tyshchenko – Ukrayinska Pravda
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian Security Council, has said that the Russian Federation would not allow World War III to break out.

Europe’s push to cut Russian gas faces a race against winter
The Associated Press
While Europeans bask in the warmth of spring, governments are in a race against winter. Europe is trying to cut use of Russian natural gas because of the war in Ukraine, but still find enough fuel to keep the lights on and homes warm before it gets cold again.

Russia Says Half of Gazprom Clients Abroad Opened Ruble Accounts; These customers are ready to pay on time for gas, Novak says; Deputy PM also says oil output recovering after two-month drop
Bloomberg News
Around half of Gazprom PJSC’s foreign clients have complied with a request from Russia’s president to open accounts with Gazprombank JSC, according to Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

Exchanges, OTC and Clearing

Montreal Exchange eyes opportunities in Canadian rates
Luke Jeffs – FOW
The Montreal Exchange, Canada’s derivatives market owned and operated by TMX Group, is responding to increasing demand for interest rate hedging tools, structural changes linked to the transition away from Libor and a trend in its domestic market to explore the longer end of the curve with changes to its established interest rate product suite. Speaking to Global Investor, Robert Catani, Head of Institutional Sales and Trading Fixed Income & Derivatives at TMX, said Canada is an interesting market for international traders in its own right, but it also benefits from its relationship with its powerful neighbour.

Intercontinental Exchange sells 9.9% Euroclear stake to two European buyers
Steve Gelsi – MarketWatch
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. said Tuesday it agreed to sell its 9.9% stake in Brussels-based security settlement company Euroclear for a combined 709 million euros ($746 million) to two European buyers. ICE will sell a 5.42% stake in Euroclear to French, government-owned investment firm Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and 4.43% of its stake to Société Fédérale de Participations et d’Investissement SA (SFPI-FPIM), a Belgium government investment company. The sale comes after ICE in Oct

GVC Gaesco, as a partner, and Libelium, as a company, join BME’s Pre-Market Environment
– GVC Gaesco joins as a partner and is already an active collaborator in BME Growth and in the Main Market’s segment for listed small & mid-caps
– Libelium designs and manufactures technological solutions for companies and cities
BME’s Pre-Market Environment (EpM), BME’s corporate acceleration programme aimed at helping SME growth companies learn how capital markets work and how to gain access to private and institutional investors, expands its network of collaborators and companies today by adding to the programme GVC Gaesco, as a partner, and Libelium, as a new company.

SOFR / Eurodollars scanning-based spread to be introduced in SPAN on Wednesday June 01, 2022
CME Group
CME will introduce a scanning-based super-intercommodity spread between Three-Month Eurodollars (ED) and Three-Month SOFR (SR3) beginning with end-of-day production SPAN files on Wednesday June 01, 2022, to provide better margin efficiencies. This spread is now present in the SPAN files generated from CME’s “New Release” testing environment.

EBS Market on CME Globex Notice
CME Group
Topics in this issue include:
Critical Information; EBS Market and eFix on CME Globex Launch Complete New
Announcements and Additional Resources; Important Updates to Support Contact Information; Subscription Center for EBS Market on CME Globex Notice

Shannon Anastasia Johnston new to the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG
Deutsche Börse
Voting results from today’s Annual General Meeting available online
At today’s Annual General Meeting, the shareholders of Deutsche Börse AG elected Shannon Anastasia Johnston to the Supervisory Board as a shareholder representative. She succeeds Karl-Heinz Flöther, who resigned his mandate and left the board after ten years.

Clearing innovation & trends: Eurex caught up with Per Haga, Global Head of PDS Product, Barclays about some of the most pressing operational and technology challenges of the future – and how to respond with innovative technologies.
Looking back on March 2020, how did cleared derivatives industry fare overall?
March 2020 posed a number of challenges for the cleared derivatives industry. OTC clearing, a relatively new clearing product for which a new workflow was designed, coped very well, trade breaks were limited and the model handled the increased volume.

Special Change in KRX Consumer Discretionary Index
There will be special constituents change in KRX Consumer Discretionary Index as follows.

NSE Academy Limited collaborates with Emkay Investment Managers Limited for Training Programs on Future Technologies
NSE Academy Limited (NAL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has signed an agreement with Emkay Investment Managers Limited (EIML), the asset management arm of Emkay Global Financial Services Limited.

NYSE Group – Integrated Feed Enhancement – addition of SIDE field
Beginning on June 27, 2022, NYSE will implement changes to the Integrated Feeds across all NYSE Group equity markets.

Notice on Investigation and Penalties for Violations of Relevant Rules and Regulations in April 2022
Shanghai Futures Exchange (hereinafter referred to as “The Exchange”) has been on continuous efforts in investigating and penalizing violations of relevant rules and regulations, so as to strengthen the risk management of the futures market, regulate the futures trading activities and protect the legitimate rights and interests of futures market participants. The enforcement against such violations in April 2022 are listed as follows:


SoftBank-Backed Fintech Giant Klarna Looks for New Funds at Lower Valuation; Buy-now-pay-later startup, valued last year at $46 billion, could see its valuation fall by one-third in a tough environment for tech companies
Ben Dummett, Julie Steinberg – WSJ
Klarna Bank AB is seeking to raise new funds that could value the fintech giant at almost a third less than the roughly $46 billion valuation it achieved just under a year ago, according to people familiar with the matter, an example of the struggles facing the tech investing world.

FINBOURNE Technology appoints new CTO as part of North American and APAC expansion; New chief technology officer brings more than 20 years’ experience in financial services, having served at Barclays Capital, RBS and UBS Delta.
Wesley Bray – The Trade
FINBOURNE Technology has appointed Robert Byrne as chief technology officer (CTO), as the firm pushes forward with its cloud-native, API-first investment data management platform, LUSID. Byrne’s appointment comes as part of FINBOURNE’s ongoing expansion into North America and Asia-Pacific, as well as the firm’s continuous hiring drive to build its core team.

Defiant Chinese netizens skirt lockdown censorship using blockchain; Growing popularity of decentralised ledger technology presents fresh challenge for country’s censors
Eleanor Olcott and Gloria Li – FT
In late April, Shanghai’s Tongji University students found rotting pork inside a meal box delivered several weeks into the city’s Omicron outbreak. The maggot-infested meal struck a chord with the disgruntled Shanghai public weeks into an indefinite lockdown without access to basic food and medical supplies.

Microsoft relaxes cloud terms to avoid full EU antitrust probe;p Licensing rules related to Azure service had come under scrutiny from rivals and regulators
Javier Espinoza – FT
Microsoft is relaxing business terms for its cloud computing service in an attempt to appease complaints from rivals and avoid a full antitrust probe in Brussels. The move follows concerns from rival cloud providers that Microsoft is using anti-competitive practices to draw customers to its Azure cloud computing platform and away from competitors.


Cybersecurity Players Should Do Well Despite Economic Headwinds
Our theme of Cyber Security Stocks has seen a sizable sell-off over the last month, declining by about 24%, compared to the Nasdaq-100 which remains down by about 12% over the same period. With the sell-off, the theme remains down by around 28% year-to-date, compared to the Nasdaq-100, which remains down by about 26% over the same period. While these stocks held up pretty well earlier this year, stubbornly high inflation and the recent interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve have resulted in a big sell-off in the sector, which is largely comprised of high-growth, high-multiple stocks. However, there’s probably a good reason for investing in these stocks following the recent big drawdowns.

SEC Showers Down Proposed Cybersecurity Rules: 5 Steps for Staying Dry
Carlton Fields – JDSupra
It’s rainy season for proposed SEC cybersecurity rules. The first watershed was proposed regulations targeting investment companies’ and advisers’ cybersecurity preparedness. See “SEC Plants New Cybersecurity Regulations; Time Will Tell What Will Bloom.” The next torrent arrived on March 9 and threatens to soak public companies. See “Four Takeaways From the SEC’s Proposed Cyber Rule for Public Companies.”

Cybersecurity agencies reveal top initial access attack vectors
Sergiu Gatlan – BleepingComputer
A joint security advisory issued by multiple national cybersecurity authorities revealed today the top 10 attack vectors most exploited by threat actors for breaching networks.
The advisory, jointly released by agencies from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, includes guidance to mitigate these routinely exploited weak security controls, poor security configurations, and bad practices.

4 cybersecurity strategies for resilience in global crises
Mark Willis – Security Magazine
Historians would not be exaggerating if they refer to this era as the “Age of Never Ending Crises.” Combine a global pandemic, the war in Ukraine (with perhaps other wars on the horizon), plus the never-ending threat of ransomware and data breaches, and security professionals are operating in a complex threat landscape as they secure their businesses.

NIST’s Cybersecurity Framework has become the common language for international cybersecurity
Willem Hendrickx – SC Magazine
All organizations, whether public or private and regardless of where they operate, are working in one of the most chaotic threat landscapes ever witnessed. And now, amid our first global cyberwar, with tensions steadily rising because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it’s paramount that those tasked with securing their organization do not turn a blind eye to the likelihood of a breach. Organizations have to face the reality of a breach and remain proactive in uncovering risks, while aligning the necessary strategy and tools to mitigate them.


This Crypto Winter Will Be Long, Cold and Harsh; In previous bear markets, people wondered if digital currencies would rebound. Now, they wonder if even the blockchain will survive.
Jared Dillian – Bloomberg
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets are notoriously volatile, routinely suffering large drops of 50% or more. This doesn’t seem to bother the diehard believers in crypto too much, who have become used to declines of this magnitude. They simply use the declines to buy more. Even so, there are still a lot of people in the space who remember “crypto winter,” the period between early 2018 and mid-2020 when prices went down and stayed down, and much of the innovation in crypto came to a halt.

Billionaire founder of crypto exchange Binance says he’s ‘poor again’ after its luna holdings — once worth $1.6 billion — crashed and are now worth just $2,200
Weilun Soon – Business Insider
Chanpeng Zhao, the wealthy founder of crypto exchange Binance, joked on Tuesday that he was “poor again” after the exchange’s investments in the luna cryptocurrency crashed from $1.6 billion just a month ago to about $2,200 this week. In a tweet on Monday, Zhao said that Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, held 15 million luna tokens. Binance received these tokens in exchange for its $3 million investment in 2018 into the Terra network that luna is based on. Its luna tokens were “never moved or sold” as of Monday, according to Zhao.

MicroStrategy Won’t Change Bitcoin Plans Despite Recent Declines, New CFO Says; Software company has bought more than 129,000 bitcoins and doesn’t plan to sell any, Andrew Kang says
Mark Maurer – WSJ
MicroStrategy Inc.’s new chief financial officer on Wednesday said its strategy to buy and hold bitcoin long term won’t change despite the recent selloff in the digital asset, which has dented the value of the analytics-software company’s holdings. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have plummeted this month, in part due to investor concerns over persistent high inflation and the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin. Bitcoin’s price has slumped by 32% over the past year to $29,128.50 through Wednesday, while MicroStrategy’s shares have slipped 56.6% to $197.44 over the same period. Technology stocks have also declined in recent weeks as investors adjusted to rising interest rates.

Bitcoin Flexes Dominance Again as Altcoins Suffer Bigger Losses; Bitcoin market-cap dominance has reached 45%, highest of 2022; Bitcoin is best-known and most-liquid cryptocurrency: Maley
Vildana Hajric – Bloomberg
Bitcoin might be having a tough time of late, but it’s holding up much better than other cryptocurrencies, showcasing its ability to stay dominant during rough spells. The coin’s market-cap dominance has risen “sharply” during the latest selloff, reaching 45%, the highest level this year, according to data compiled by Babel Finance. It suggests “altcoins are at their worst,” the firm’s strategists wrote in a note.

Crypto Billionaire Novogratz Breaks Silence, Calls Luna ‘Big Idea That Failed’; Billionaire blames macro environment for cryptocurrency tumble; Galaxy founder said Luna tattoo is a reminder of ‘humility’
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou – Bloomberg
Mike Novogratz broke his silence on the TerraUSD meltdown, calling it a “big idea that failed” and warning that the tough environment for cryptocurrencies will continue. The founder of Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. and big backer of Terraform Labs, the company behind Terra and Luna, had gone silent for a week. Novogratz spent the time reflecting on the economy and his firm’s role in the crypto industry, he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Nomura’s Digital Division to Focus on Cryptocurrencies First, DeFi Later
Ian Allison – Coindesk
Don’t miss CoinDesk’s Consensus 2022, the must-attend crypto & blockchain festival experience of the year in Austin, TX this June 9-12. Nomura’s new digital-asset subsidiary, announced earlier this week in a move that potentially catapults the Japanese investment bank ahead of U.S. and European rivals, will start by focusing on cryptocurrencies, the unit’s newly appointed CEO Jez Mohideen said.

Nomura Explores the Metaverse in Digital Push to Lift Profit; Digital finance market growing ‘quite strongly,’ Numata says; JPMorgan, Fidelity, HSBC also among finance firms in metaverse
Takashi Nakamichi and Takako Taniguchi – Bloomberg
Nomura Holdings Inc. is building a team to help firms tap opportunities in the metaverse, as Japan’s biggest brokerage pushes deeper into digital services and private markets to boost profit. The Tokyo-based firm is considering using its investment banking knowledge to help companies in the virtual space raise money and advise on how to navigate regulations as they emerge, according to senior managing director Kaoru Numata, who oversees digital projects and retail marketing. Details of Nomura’s plans for the virtual reality market are still being worked out, he said.


Lawmakers Seek to Curb Voting Power of BlackRock, Vanguard and Other Big Asset Managers; Expected GOP bill would require large money managers to give passive-fund investors a way to vote proxies
Angel Au-Yeung – WSJ
A group of Republican senators is looking to curtail the power big asset managers like BlackRock Inc. and Vanguard Group have over public companies. In legislation introduced Wednesday, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R., Alaska) calls for voting choice to be made available to individual investors in passive funds when money managers own more than 1% of a company’s voting securities. Big asset managers like BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street Corp. have grown rapidly in recent years, fueled by investors hoping that index-tracking funds can get them broader access to the market at a lower cost. Collectively, those three firms alone manage $20 trillion in assets.

U.S. Aims to Cripple Russian Oil Industry, Officials Say
Edward Wong and Michael Crowley – NY Times
The Biden administration is developing plans to further choke Russia’s oil revenues with the long-term goal of destroying the country’s central role in the global energy economy, current and former U.S. officials say, a major escalatory step that could put the United States in political conflict with China, India, Turkey and other nations that buy Russian oil. The proposed measures include imposing a price cap on Russian oil, backed by so-called secondary sanctions, which would punish foreign buyers that do not comply with U.S. restrictions by blocking them from doing business with American companies and those of partner nations.

Fed Nominee Michael Barr to Face Senate Lawmakers in Crucial Hearing; Clues could emerge how pick for central bank role would approach regulation of nation’s biggest lenders
Andrew Ackerman – Bloomberg
President Biden’s pick to become the government’s most influential bank regulator faces a key confirmation hurdle when he testifies Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee. Michael Barr, who worked in the Treasury Department during the Obama and Clinton administrations, was tapped last month for a four-year term as Federal Reserve vice chairman for bank supervision. If confirmed by the Senate, he would be responsible for developing policy recommendations for the Fed board and for overseeing its regulatory staff, which supervises some of the largest U.S. financial firms, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., and Citigroup Inc.

A Brexit opportunity worth grasping; The genetic technology bill is a moment to cheer new global benefits from the UK’s agricultural science research
Robert Shrimsley – FT
“Let us start now to liberate the UK’s extraordinary bioscience sector from anti genetic modification rules and . . . develop the blight-resistant crops that will feed the world.” So said Boris Johnson as he spoke outside Downing Street on the day he became prime minister. With all the fury of Brexit, here was a bold pledge to fight back against the pressure groups who had blocked progress and stymied the UK’s agricultural bioscience sector. This was a genuine Brexit opportunity, the chance to diverge from unscientific EU rules.


A federal appeals court says the S.E.C.’s use of an in-house judge violates defendants’ rights; The ruling by an appeals court covering Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi applies only in that territory, but it’s the latest challenge to the way the agency handles enforcement actions.
Matthew Goldstein – NY Times
A divided federal appeals court panel on Wednesday threw a wrinkle into how the Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutes some enforcement actions by declaring that its administrative proceedings can violate a defendant’s constitutional rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that the S.E.C. violated a hedge fund manager’s Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial when it let an in-house judge decide a civil fraud case. Such administrative proceedings are common among regulatory agencies, which use them to decide some enforcement actions.

FCA to gain new powers to protect UK communities’ access to cash; ‘Reasonable’ distance to be laid down on how far to go for bank and building society services
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan – FT
The chief UK financial regulator will gain new powers to ensure that banks and building societies continue to provide access to cash, the government will announce on Thursday. New legislation will enable the Financial Conduct Authority to intervene to ensure communities are not cut off from banking services as ministers seek to address the impact of the disappearance of branches from the high street over the past decade. The government promised to set out “its expectations for a reasonable distance” for people to travel to deposit and withdraw cash “in due course” as part of the proposed changes.

Crypto: SEC Chair Gary Gensler calls on Congress to provide more funding for oversight
Jennifer Schonberger – Yahoo! Finance
Yahoo Finance’s Jennifer Schonberger joins the Live show to break down SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s testimony on regulations for cryptocurrencies and digital assets amid market sell-offs.

FCA strengthens consumer protection by speeding up removal of firms that do not use their regulatory permission
The FCA is to use new powers to more swiftly cancel or change what regulated activities firms are permitted to do, these are known as permissions. This new power is available following a change in the law allowing the FCA to streamline and shorten the removals process. The FCA will provide a firm with two warnings if it believes it is not using its regulatory permission. The FCA will then be able to cancel the permission, or change it, 28 days after the first warning if the firm has not taken appropriate action.

Holiday Reminder Regarding FINRA Market Transparency Reporting Systems
In observance of Memorial Day, FINRA’s Market Transparency Reporting Systems will be closed on Monday, May 30, 2022. Affected applications include: Alternative Display Facility (ADF), Over-the-Counter Reporting Facility (ORF), Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE), FINRA/Exchange Trade Reporting Facilities (TRFs)

Investing and Trading

Amateur Investors Rode the Bull Up. Now the Bear Looms.; An estimated 20 million people started trading on their own during the pandemic. Some are shifting strategies as stocks tumble, while others are getting out.
Tara Siegel Bernard – NY Times
Millions of amateur investors got into the stock market during the pandemic — some gingerly, some aggressively, some determined to teach Wall Street bigwigs a lesson — and almost couldn’t help but make money, riding a bull market for the better part of two years. Now they may have to wrestle with a bear. “It definitely isn’t as easy to trade in this market,” said Shelley Hellmann, a 47-year-old former optometrist in Texas who began actively investing in April 2020 while isolating from her family.

Fidelity Legend Peter Lynch Acquires 5.2% Stake in Penny Stock
Miles Weiss – Bloomberg
Peter Lynch is still searching for bargains on Wall Street at age 78, even if it involves a penny stock. Lynch tries to avoid owning more than 5% of a particular stock and didn’t realize that his $1.2 million stake put him over that threshold, requiring him to disclose it in a filing Wednesday, he said in an interview.

Is This the SPAC Era’s Worst Deal? Cantor Fitzgerald and Goldman Sachs cooked up a fine mess with View Inc., with some help from SoftBank, Greensill and Credit Suisse.
Chris Bryant – Bloomberg
The abysmal performance of businesses that have gone public by merging with special purpose acquisition companies has emboldened the US Securities and Exchange Commission to beef up investor protections and disclosure requirements. SPACs were touted as a shortcut to a stock-market listing and a way for retail investors to gain access to promising start-ups. But the hype and haste have often sidetracked due diligence and financial controls. The promise has given way to losses and, in some cases, lawsuits. An index of 25 companies that became public by combining with a SPAC has plummeted more than 75% from its peak in February last year.

Investors Protest Executive Pay at JPMorgan, Intel and Coca-Cola; Nonbinding ‘say on pay’ votes against compensation packages for chief executives are aimed at influencing board decisions
Theo Francis – WSJ
Investors have rebuked two dozen major U.S. companies over their executive-pay packages, sometimes by wide margins or for the second straight year. JPMorgan Chase JPM -1.71%? & Co. and Intel Corp. INTC -4.62%? investors owning roughly two-thirds of shares didn’t support pay plans at recent annual meetings. Coca-Cola Co. KO -6.96%? barely won majority support with 50.5% of the vote this year. Historically, it is unusual for companies to get less than 90% support on these nonbinding votes, and corporate-governance analysts consider less than 70% support to reflect significant investor dissatisfaction. So far, 23 companies in the S&P 500 have reported less than 70% support for their executive-compensation programs, compared with 21 among the same companies a year ago, compensation-data firm Equilar found in an analysis of about 250 companies. Seven blue chips came in under 70% for a second year in a row, including General Electric Co. GE -1.57%?

In a Sour Market, Agricultural Commodities Are Still Tasty; Agriculture commodities are turning out to be a safe haven for investors burned by the recent turbulence in stock and currency markets—at least as long as political instability lasts
Megha Mandavia – WSJ
Agricultural commodities may be one of the last options left on the menu for investors reeling from a global stock- and bond-market crash. While the war in Ukraine, shipping disruptions and rising oil and fertilizer prices were an initial impetus for grain prices to rise, protectionism is showing up as a new threat. And with inflation already on the rise in Asia, such measures could end up exacerbating food price pressures globally, according to Sonal Varma, an analyst with Nomura. In a brutal market for nearly every type of asset, basic food commodities like wheat and corn—and formerly below-the-radar companies that process and trade them, such as Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge—could end up as relatively safe havens, at least as long as the war lasts.

Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance

Musk Says ESG ‘An Outrageous Scam’ After Tesla Index Exclusion
Sebastian Tong – Bloomberg
Tesla CEO Elon Musk called ESG “an outrageous scam” after the electric vehicle maker lost its spot on an S&P Global index that tracks companies on their environmental, social and governance standards. Expressing his displeasure in a series of tweets, Musk said the index compiler had “lost their integrity” and said “political attacks” on him would “escalate dramatically in coming months.”

Black Bankers Keep Battling For Top Leadership Roles In Finance Space
Jeffrey McKinney – Black Enterprise
In recent years, some large U.S. banks have taken actions to boost workforce and boardroom diversity. Yet, there is greater pressure on them now more than ever two years after the murder of George Floyd and the devastating sting COVID-19 has left on the Black community. Along with pledges of billions of dollars to fight systemic racism, some banks have delivered by promoting some Blacks, offering internships, and other programs to advance hiring and retention of people of color since 2020. However, observers declare banks must step up their efforts to add more Blacks in executive and middle-management positions where they can make a large difference in a bank’s decision-making process to truly boost wealth in Black communities.


ECB Says Global Banks Too Slow on Post-Brexit Staff Moves; Some firms lack sufficient EU-based capabilities, review says; Fewer roles than needed have moved to the bloc after Brexit
Nicholas Comfort and Steven Arons – Bloomberg
Some of the world’s biggest banks haven’t moved enough senior staff into the European Union after Brexit, the bloc’s top regulator has concluded, an assessment that will likely lead to renewed pressure for more job moves to the EU. An exercise by the European Central Bank, known as “desk mapping,” found that several of the lenders reviewed — who all have headquarters outside the EU — haven’t built up sufficient local capabilities to manage their business in the region, people familiar with the process said.

The 200 top performing community banks; crypto regulation; Plaid moves into fraud and ID tech
American Banker
Every year, we look at the 200 community banks that perform the best. Here’s what we learned about the bank ranked first: Top-performing U.S. community bank shows value of revenue diversification

Ex-Banker Builds $19 Billion Fortune From Global Shipping Boom; Aponte’s MSC has bought more than 150 vessels since early 2021; Value for some of its Panamax boats has increased almost 400%
Benjamin Stupples – Bloomberg
Gianluigi Aponte left a job in finance to focus on shipping. Now, decades later, he has one of the world’s biggest maritime fortunes. While the Covid-19 pandemic hurt sales and temporarily halted operations for the cruise-line business of his MSC Group, the company moved rapidly to forge the world’s biggest container lines as oceanic-freight rates surged to records. Along the way, Aponte’s net worth more than doubled to $19 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Julius Baer Braves ‘Bubble-Burst’ Moment in Crypto Wealth Push; Swiss wealth manager is trialling crypto services for clients; CEO Rickenbacher says crypto has transformative potential
Marion Halftermeyer – Bloomberg
Julius Baer Group Ltd. said it is working on offering services in digital assets to its wealthy clients, and sees the current turmoil in global crypto markets as potentially defining moment for the asset class.

ECB to target ’empty shell’ operations at big investment banks; Central bank ramps up push for non-EU lenders to increase staff and capital within bloc
Martin Arnold – FT
The European Central Bank has warned the biggest Wall Street and City of London investment banks that it has lost patience with their use of “empty shell” EU trading desks since Brexit and plans to force them to shift more resources. The move ramps up the ECB’s long-running push for big investment banks based outside the EU to increase the staff and capital they locate in their financial market operations within the bloc, which started when their European businesses were split because of Brexit.

Wellness Exchange

China Covid Cases Trending Down But Lockdown Threat Remains; Beijing carries out mass testing, Tianjin delays college exams; Tencent, Cisco cite Shanghai lockdown for slowing growth
Bloomberg News
China’s Covid caseload is easing, though the threat of lockdowns remains as infections are found in key cities and the country continues to have zero tolerance for any outbreaks. Beijing reported 55 cases on Wednesday, down from 69 on Tuesday. The capital has locked down some areas of the Fengtai district for seven days and is starting three rounds of mass testing across four districts as authorities race to stamp out all infections.

Latest Covid-19 Wave Expands to More of U.S.; Rising cases prompt more calls for precautions but not mandates in hot spots like New York City
Jon Kamp and Brianna Abbott – WSJ
The latest Covid-19 case surge is expanding beyond the Northeast, with places from the Midwest to Florida and California under rising pressure. Fueled by highly contagious versions of the Omicron variant, the tide is posing a test of how much new infections matter in a changing pandemic. Though built-up immunity in the population has kept more people out of hospitals, federal health officials on Wednesday urged people in hot spots to take precautions, from booster shots to pre-gathering tests and masks, to limit the virus’ spread.


China in Talks With Russia to Buy Oil for Strategic Reserves
Anna Kitanaka – Bloomberg
China is seeking to replenish its strategic crude stockpiles with cheap Russian oil, a sign Beijing is strengthening its energy ties with Moscow just as Europe works toward banning imports due to the war in Ukraine. Beijing is in discussions with Moscow to buy additional supplies, according to people with knowledge of the plan who asked not to be named as the matter is private. Crude would be used to fill China’s strategic petroleum reserves, and talks are being conducted at a government level with little direct involvement from oil companies, said one person.

China Insists Party Elites Shed Overseas Assets, Eyeing Western Sanctions on Russia; mAn internal Communist Party directive bars senior officials from owning property abroad or stakes in overseas entities, whether directly or through spouses and children
Chun Han Wong – WSJ
China’s Communist Party will block promotions for senior cadres whose spouses or children hold significant assets abroad, people familiar with the matter said, as Beijing seeks to insulate its top officials from the types of sanctions now being directed at Russia. The ban, outlined in an internal notice by the party’s powerful Central Organization Department, could play a role in Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s efforts to increase his influence at a twice-a-decade leadership shuffle scheduled for later this year.

UK Is About to Become Stagflation Nation; The nation put cost-cutting ahead of investment for years. Now the bill is coming due.
Philip Aldrick – Bloomberg
In a world reeling from soaring inflation and weak growth, the UK holds a special place. It’s on track to be the advanced nations’ stagflation capital. Prices are expected to rise 13.1% over this year and next, the most in the Group of Seven, and the UK will drop to the bottom of the pack for growth in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund. The National Institute of Economic & Social Research reckons the country will be in recession before next year.


Angus Grossart, merchant banker, 1937-2022; A financier who made his influence felt in both takeover battles and Scottish cultural life
Lionel Barber – FT
Sir Angus Grossart, merchant banker and patron of the arts, was for more than half a century an irresistible force in Scottish public life. He described himself, half in jest, as a member of the “Scotia Nostra”, a man who wielded great influence: first through Noble Grossart, the boutique investment bank active in several epic UK takeover battles in the 1980s, including the “whisky wars” involving Guinness and Distillers.

Your Dog Is Not Ready for You to Return to the Office; Pets (and their owners) prepare for the inevitable.
John Leland – NY Times
Look at that face, those pleading eyes, that nose that kept you company all through the pandemic. Now explain to Cooper why it is so, so important that you return to the office — leaving her alone all day, after two years of 24/7 togetherness. Because … what? Company d’esprit? Todd McCormick, a derivatives trader on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, decided that he was not going to do it. “I don’t believe I will ever go back to an office,” he said. As he spoke, his 13-year-old rescue mix, Higgins, demanded a cracker. Many New Yorkers, of course, have long since returned to their workplaces, or never stopped going to them. But for those contemplating the transition now, and for their dogs, a day of reckoning has arrived.

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The Spread

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Past JLN Newsletters

Crypto: ‘Blockchain is hype’ – MPs warned

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